Thanksgiving Leftovers Texas-Inspired Kentucky Hot Brown

So dude I have got to tell you about this amazing sandwich I made! It’s a Texas inspired Kentucky hot brown openface sandwich’s mofo. If you’ve never had a Kentucky hot brown you need to remedy this immediately.

So this is perfect for a post Thanksgiving treat. You’re gonna need some leftover turkey, and you’ll want to make some thick turkey broth from the carcass or the neck and giblets.

You will also need some flour, butter, white cheddar, parmesan, pickled jalapeños, canned salsa, and salt-and-pepper for the gravy. I would also add some slices of tomato, a few pieces of bacon, and possibly parsley or cilantro for a garnish. Finally – garlic Texas toast! Texas toast is not hard to make but you can find it in the frozen food section of any grocery store and you can have it made in less than 10 minutes with little effort. (Any bread should work.)

So first the Mornay sauce or gravy. You just take a little bit of your thickened broth that you made from the turkey carcass, and add a little bit of hot water to kind of get it melted and stirred up. Add a pad of butter, some of the Parmesan cheese, and a few small chunks of the white cheddar. Stir that up real well with a little bit of salt and pepper and microwave it for a minute. Add flour to thicken it up, maybe a tablespoon at a time. Throw in some pickled jalapeños and a couple tablespoons of spicy canned salsa – you know the kind of salsa you can get for $.79 at Walmart in an 8 oz can. Stir well and microwave for another minute or minute and a half. If it’s too thick cut with a little hot water. Taste it and if it’s good you did it right – if it’s not good you didn’t do it right. That’s just the kind of f*ing precision my recipes entail.

Why you’ve been doing that hopefully you’ve been cooking bacon on the stove, have your Texas toast in the oven, and sliced up a tomato or two. Finally heat up some leftover turkey.

And here is how you get a homerun. Put the Texas toast on the damn plate. Top with turkey and bacon. Smother the shit out of that with your sauce. Lay the tomato slices on top, garnish with the green if you wish, and add a little freshly ground black pepper.

And thus you have a Texas inspired Kentucky hot brown.

I literally dictated this whole recipe using Siri.

Dictated, not read.

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Sheila’s Amazing Beer Chili

from: Jamey W. Bennett 
to: Daniel Larkin

Dude,

My friend Sheila in Nashville makes what is possibly the best chili I’ve ever had. Last year, she gave me her recipe to use in a chili cook-off at church, and she has given me permission to share it with the world.

She sent me a follow-up email about a meatless version she makes. She said she does it pretty much the same way as below, except for no meat and more beans.

Cheers,
Jamey

From: Sheila Uselton
Subject: Re: chili
To: “Jamey W. Bennett” 

Okay Jamey. Here is my attempt to remember how I make chili.

First I brown a pound or so of good quality ground beef. (ground round or sirloin, etc.) AND a pound of hot sausage like Jimmy Dean’s or whatever. While that is browning I also throw in a chopped poblano pepper (or two if they are really small.)

After the meat is brown I start adding stuff. I add my chili mix, which is usually the Wick Fowler chili kit. Just get one or two if you are making a big batch.I like chili mixes that contain masa. Then I add a large can or two of crushed tomatoes. I always get two cans in case it needs it. Then add your beans. I use black beans and light red kidney beans. I also put in a can of yellow hominy to pay homage to our love of New Mexico southwestern style cooking. I always add a bit more garlic and ground cumin too.Then take two beers out of the fridge. Pour in one beer and make sure it is not a sweet beer. Drink the other beer. At this point, just eyeball it and add whatever else you think it might need.

Now, here is the secret that I just discovered that is amazing. Buy a can of chipotle chilies (smoked jalapenos) and add those. It gives it the most amazing flavor. You will find these little devils in the Mexican food section of your store. Or go to the Mexican grocery store if it’s close by. The ones I used came in a small can with some kind of red sauce in them. Put the chilies AND the sauce in. I think they also can be found in a dried form, but I did not want to have to mess with rehydrating them due to my laziness. Keep in mind however, that this will make your chili HOT, so be discriminating as you add these. Your judges might be pansies from the East who can’t take the heat.

Call or text me if you have any questions. Hope you win!

Love,
S.

[Editor’s Note: Don’t forget the sour cream, cheese, Fritos, hot sauce, or whatever else you like with your chili.]

IPA-Crusted Pizza

Dude,
It was good to talk to you tonight, and a bit of an encouragement just to share stuff with ya.

So the verdict is in. The pizza was really good. I’m still way amateur when it comes to homemade pizza, but theconsistency and presentation on this one was pretty good.

Basically, I kinda just winged it. I really wanted pizza, but I wanted to stick with my October Unprocessed commitment. So at Trader Joe’s I picked up unbleached whole-wheat flour, and some good, basic mozzarella with no crazy anti-caking agents or anything. I had bacon from Whole Foods, local hot sausage from the farmer’s market, and some jalapenos I pickled myself (inspired by your pickled eggs bit).

For the dough, I used 4 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking powder (this is the only iffy thing on processed foods), 1-1/2 tsp. salt, a packet of yeast, 2 tbs. olive oil, and a can of beer. Mixed it together (had to add a little water), kneaded it and covered. After about 2 hours I split it in two, rolled it into a ball, and then flattened that shit.

I did my own pizza sauce, too (sorta). I got the idea from AllRecipes.com, but I did things my own way. Basically, I took about 4 oz. tomato paste, 3 tbs. grated parmesan, a couple garlic cloves, 2 tbs. honey (instead of sugar), ¾ teaspoon onion powder, and ¼ tsp. of each of the following: oregano, marjoram, fresh basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Then I slowly poured crushed tomatoes into the mix, stirring constantly, until it tasted how I wanted. I also salted to taste. It was sweet and yummy.

One pizza was a spicy Hawaiian-style. I used bacon, sausage, pineapple, and jalapeno.

The other pizza was full of caramelized goodness. I caramelized slices of heirloom tomatoes (!!!!!) in my skillet, and caramelized some onions – all with my local, organic, raw butter. Threw that on a pizza with cheese. DAMN. I think tomorrow I might just caramelize some tomatoes to eat like candy.

Sprinkled oregano on top, then baked at 400 degrees. I always bake in a pan, then for the last couple minutes I pull the pizza off the pan with my pizza peel and put it directly on the rack.

I’m interested in your pizza tips one day.

Cheers,
Jamey

P.S. Oh yeah, and I brushed melted butter on the crust. It was awesome.

Hot Sauces of Two Dudes


to Daniel Larkin
from Jamey Bennett 

Hey man,

I hope your journey is fantastic. I wanted to drop you a quick note about some sauces I made today. I made two hot sauces, two wing sauces, and finished up my fermented hot sauce. I think one of the wing sauces needs its own post, and the fermented sauce deserves its own as well.

SO…let me start with my basic sauce. I started making this when I lived in Hawaii, and had a surplus of peppers. After messing around with a few different ways of making this sauce, I settled on a basic, “Keep It Simple Stupid” recipe. Basically, I just take a bunch of peppers, boil them in vinegar for about 20 minutes, throw in a blender with some salt (and maybe a bit of garlic), and you’re done. Today, I made one variation on this: I boiled serrano, jalapeno, and green cherry peppers in water. Drained, added vinegar and Goya’s Adobo seasoning (it’s basically salt and garlic powder), and blended with a tablespoon of sugar.

Next, I’ve been jiving on this amazing carrot hot sauce from WMD Hot Sauce , a local sauce company (UPDATE: now defunct), that I had custom made for my groomsmen and priest. So I did a little google search on carrot hot sauce, and this is the plan I devised. It made way more hot sauce than I imagined, but it is pretty good.

I took a little bit of onion and 4 or 5 garlic cloves, and cooked them in a bit of macadamia nut oil until the onions were slightly translucent. I threw in 1 lb. organic baby carrots, about 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and the juice of 5 limes. Brought it to a boil. After a few minutes I added a little less than 1/2 pound of habaneros (mostly reds, a few oranges, and one red cherry pepper from my garden). I cooked all of this until the carrots were pretty soft and easy to break apart with a spatula….this also meant I had to add a little more water at one point. I put this all in the blender, and added salt, 1 tbs. sugar, and added vinegar little by little until it blended smoothly. I chanced it, and added some water, too. Pretty soon I had the consistency I wanted. It tastes fantastic, but with that many habaneros…wow. And the carrots bring such a delicious sweetness to the sauce.

Now, here’s the bonus. I took some of the sauce, melted some butter, pressed up some garlic, tossed in some soy sauce, and bam! Wing sauce. Could have used some cilantro, too, but it was really great.

Happy saucing!

UPDATE: I did the cooking my cast iron skillet. Evidently, I have a lot to learn, because the next few times I used my cast iron skillet, our eyes hurt from spiciness in the air…

Fritters with Pineapple Salsa

from Daniel Larkin
to jamey w. bennett

OK, one of my favorite new side items is Fritters with Pineapple salsa. So here’s a brief overview of my recipes.

Salsa: 
Two pasilla (or poblano) peppers
One Anaheim pepper
One jalapeno pepper
One red onion (I roasted it whole, but I really only used the outer half, which had roasted most)
Half head of garlic
Six Tomatoes
Approximately half a pineapple cut into round slices – it looks like too much, but it isn’t.
One small can of tomato sauce
A small bunch of fresh basil chopped

Roast all of the fresh items on the grill, setting each one into a covered pot to rest as they finish. After the last item goes into the pot, let them all sit for at least 10 minutes. Skin and deseed peppers and tomatoes. Spread the tomatoes over the cutting board and work with a knife until it’s fairly smooth but has some chunkiness to it. Chop peppers and onion to small squares. I chopped the pineapple to various sizes – smaller sizes for flavor and larger sizes for taste and texture. Pinch the garlic cloves from their skins and mash/chop.

Mix all of the mess in a pot with salt and tomato sauce and simmer (not boil) for five minutes – just to mix the flavors. At the end of the five minutes, add the basil and a touch of olive oil and red wine vinegar. It’s good fresh, but it’s fantastic after a night in the fridge.

Fritters:
One large and one small squash – approximately 1-1/2 cups shredded with the large grates of a cheese grater.
Kernels from two ears of corn – I ended up with one cup. (I steamed the kernels for a few minutes, but I don’t know how necessary this is.)
Two finely chopped jalapenos
Enough shredded cheddar to be good – I made no measurements for this, but you’ll know how much is enough.
1/2 cup of flour – plus a little bit more
Two eggs
Pinch of baking powder
Splash of milk
Salt, pepper, paprika

Mix all ingredients. Fill a cooking pan with enough oil to halfway cover a “pancake” of the mix. Fry away, but keep it covered with a screen because we had a few kernels pop on us.

Top with the salsa.

Holy shit, dude. These are fantastic.